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Pronghorn Antelopes

What a day. We had started out east when Margaret got a page from home. This was unusual so we called back and found out Tabitha was sick. We turned around and wound up taking her to the Emergency Room thinking she may have appendicitis. Why are Emergency Rooms so abysmally slow, anyway? 6 hours later we were on our way with no problem. Everything is fine, but she had scared us and it is better to be safe than sorry. Margaret has a good instinct for when we need to go to the doctor so I always go with that.

Margaret even was able to sneak up and see the baby while we were waiting. She is fat looking because she is short and weighs so much. I still didn’t go because this thing I caught just keeps hanging on.

All of this did make us late of course but it was because we were late that I had the opportunity to see something I had never seen before.

Out on the eastern plains of Colorado are herds of Pronghorn Antelope. We see them grazing many mornings, usually in the fields where the cattle are not. They are small animals compared to deer and have a strange gait when they run. It is almost as though they hop in a zigzag pattern back and forth, but very, very fast. They can reach speeds of up to 60 mph. Their eyes are set high on their head and if you looked through them it would be like looking through 8 power binoculars.

In Wisconsin where I grew up there are Whitetail deer which I would say are probably two to three times larger. It is spectacular on a frosty morning to see a white-tail buck running across the field at a high rate of speed leaping effortlessly over any obstacle. There is no fence high enough to slow him down.

Pronghorn Antelope don’t leap. We saw a herd crossing Squirrel Creek road last evening, oh, around 5:00 or 5:30. There must have been 40 or 50 of them and I slowed the car down so as not to make them want to stop crossing. It was one of the strangest things I ever saw. Not one of them jumped over the fence, they all crawled under! Scott W had told me about this, but I had never seen it. It looked like a river of brown and white flowing under the fence! I stopped completely so as not to spook them and just watched. I guess there might have been 42. It was so strange, because, as I said, I am used to deer. The idea of jumping did not even occur to them anymore than you would expect a Whitetail to think about crawling under a fence. They looked like some sort of, I don’t know, maybe rodents or something the way they just wriggled under and kept going. They were moving very fast, however and if I would have tried to come up to them they would have broken their line and scattered.

Remember The Good Book says, “Where were you when I made everything?”

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